New iPad 3: Did Apple Settle for Second Grade Tablet?

By Johnny Wills | May 07, 2012 03:48 PM EDT

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The new iPad is great. It packs a super high-resolution display, a powerful A5X chipset and 4G LTE chips. But it could be the backup plan for Apple. Some analysts are saying that the original plan of Apple was to release a thinner tablet. The third-generation iPad was meant to be lighter than its predecessor. Instead there is an extra weight and thickness to the design of new iPad.

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Last year, the rumors were high that Apple's upcoming tablet is going to ditch the current IPS panels for IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) display panels. IGZO is the new technology developed by Sharp. Citing anonymous source in Apple supply chain, Taiwanese website Digitimes reported that Apple will utilize IGZO panels from Sharp in order to upgrade the display resolution of new tablet to full HD or even higher levels.

"The plan was to use this new technology called IGZO from Sharp -- a lot higher electron mobility that allows them to make the transistors a lot smaller and the circuit elements a lot smaller," CNet cited Raymond Soneria, CEO of DisplayMate Technologies, as saying.

IGZO panels have forty times higher electron mobility than amorphous silicon panels. IGZO panels need lesser number of backlights to give optimal brightness levels. Also it use smaller transistors and the panels are much-thinner than conventional amorphous silicon panels.

"The idea was that IGZO would enable a brighter display and you could use less LEDs and you wouldn't need as big a battery compared to amorphous silicon," said Richard Shim, an analayst at DisplaySearch.

It was believed that the retina display of new iPad will be produce with Sharp's IGZO technology. But Sharp's new tech was not ready in time. And Apple has to work on a backup plan, calling in its rival - Samsung - to handle the task of manufacturing retina displays for the new iPad.

(reported by Johnny Wills, edited by Dave Clark)


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